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Negating elephant-human conflict in Vietnam

Embracing new age technology to manage elephant-human conflict in Vietnam

Asian Elephant (Elaphus maximus)

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When elephants and humans interact, there is conflict from crop raiding, injuries and deaths to humans caused by elephants, and elephants being killed by humans to protect their livelihood.  This is one problem experienced in Vietnam and the use of new technology is embraced to counter elephant-human conflict.

Drones are a rapidly emerging conservation technology that allows researchers to remotely monitor wildlife at a distance, with the inclusion of thermal sensors, the detection rates of mammals vastly increases against the backdrop of cold vegetation.  This is particularly advantageous for monitoring large mammals that are more active during early mornings, evenings, and at night, such as the Asian elephant.

After interviewing local people regarding human-elephant conflict in Dong Nai, Vietnam, researchers from Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (SVW) were able to locate specific entry and exit points from the nearby forests where elephants stay during the day and emerge at night to forage for food. With the support of The Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, SVW researchers are able to safely and effectively monitor elephant populations in Dong Nai using thermal drone flights at these points to monitor elephant behaviors and identify core use areas and emergence points.

The next phase of the project will be to set AI cameras in these emergency points where elephants come to forage in agricultural areas at night, whereby local people will receive alerts in real-time when elephants are detected. With the assistance of new conservation technologies, human-elephant conflict mitigation and elephant research and monitoring is safer, more effective, and beneficial to both humans and wildlife alike

Project lead by

Russell Gray

Save Vietnam's Wildlife